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Author Topic: Symbolism and Suggestions  (Read 17336 times)
Otter
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« Reply #30: June 21, 2011, 10:14:30 am »

I've read of a visualization where you're supposed to imagine you've got an aura of bright white/bluish light that keeps you safe,

I've done this sort of thing myself, though more to keep other people's energy from affecting me than to protect myself from physical intrusions or people who don't respect personal space. I can see where it could be helpful for both though and I'm curious if anyone's had any success in keeping off unwanted attention by shielding.
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« Reply #31: June 21, 2011, 12:33:57 pm »

So what can you do to avoid people coming up to you and speaking to you, apart from changing something about yourself that we agreed you shouldn't have to do?

First, I just want to be very, very clear about the fact that I'm not saying a person shouldn't take whatever measures they feel comfortable with to keep themselves safe. Whether that's making different clothing choices, deciding not to go to a certain place at a certain time, or whatever. I do think it's very important to be aware of your surroundings, other people, etc. My main point was that when these things do happen, a person shouldn't automatically blame themselves, feel guilty about it, or let someone else put the blame on them. That said, there are some very mundane kinds of things that might help.

Talking to, or even pretending to talk to someone on your cell phone can help. You'll look busy, and the idea that there is someone on the line who will know right away if something happens can be a good deterrent.

Wearing headphones without any music playing. This allows you to hear what's going on around you, and also gives you a great excuse to ignore someone trying talk to you, so long as you aren't looking at them, and they don't touch you to get your attention. 

Also, reading a book has been really effective for me. When people have tried to talk to me, I've said that I was really enjoying my book and wasn't interested in conversation just then. A text book is even better, you could say, sorry I really have to study right now.

These are just a few ideas, and I know they won't work in every situation. Sometimes, you just have to be really forceful and tell the person to leave you alone. Period. There's nothing wrong with that, we don't have to be polite and accommodating all of the time.

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I've read of a visualization where you're supposed to imagine you've got an aura of bright white/bluish light that keeps you safe, but I'd have trouble keeping up the visualization while I'm walking around - there's traffic and whatnot that I need to pay attention to when I'm in town. Anyone has any experience with this?

I have had some success with a few kinds of shielding and projection technique. These things are always hard for me to describe, but I'll give it my best shot.

1) Move along, nothing to see here shield
This one is for those times when I'm stuck in one place. Like waiting for a bus or on a bus. Those times when you can't just up and leave. It works great if you have a book or magazine to keep your eyes on. You don't want to make eye contact, or acknowledge the other person at all. The best way to describe it is, I visualize a kind of milky fog around me and project the idea that I'm very boring and uninteresting. So boring, that you almost don't see me. Just be careful to drop this shield when you need to. I've had buses zoom right past me, that kind of sucked.

2) No time talk, in a hurry shield
This works really well in conjunction with moving fast. I project a very rushed kind of energy. Usually, I'll visualize a red vibrating light (it kind of looks like electricity) around me that extends a couple of feet in front of me. Maybe I'll look at my watch a lot. If someone tries to stop me to talk, I'll very quickly say, no gotta go I'm late and keep moving. Dissipating this shield and grounding the energy when I've reached my destination is really important. If I don't, I'll start to feeling anxious, and restless.

3) Avoid me, I'm much creepier than you are shield
This one is trickier and it's one that I reserve for situations where I genuinely feel threatened. I visualize dark muddy purplish-green colored energy swirling around me, and project the idea that I'm a really nasty, hateful person. Not the kind of person you want to have anything to do with. Once I'm safe, usually at home, I'll smudge or shower with intent, or something to clear that energy. If I'm not at home, I'll at least go to a restroom and sprinkle some water over myself to help get rid of it. It's not the kind of energy that I want to have clinging to me for any length of time.

Well, I hope some of this makes sense and is a little bit helpful. Like I said, I'm not very good at putting these things into words. If something is unclear, I'm happy to try and explain it better.
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« Reply #32: June 21, 2011, 01:49:32 pm »

I have had some success with a few kinds of shielding and projection technique. These things are always hard for me to describe, but I'll give it my best shot.

They made a lot of sense to me. My problem, however, is that I don't know how to keep the visualization going for a lengthy period of time. Say, if I'm doing the "nothing to see here" shield while waiting for a bus that's due in 10 minutes, but I can only keep the visualization going for 3 minutes, it won't be much help to me.
So should I simply practice more often and then I might be able to keep it going for longer periods of time?
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« Reply #33: June 21, 2011, 08:36:35 pm »

They made a lot of sense to me. My problem, however, is that I don't know how to keep the visualization going for a lengthy period of time. Say, if I'm doing the "nothing to see here" shield while waiting for a bus that's due in 10 minutes, but I can only keep the visualization going for 3 minutes, it won't be much help to me.
So should I simply practice more often and then I might be able to keep it going for longer periods of time?

Someone upthread already mentioned "anchoring" your shield to a piece of jewelry or an item of clothing, so I'll just reiterate that.  Basically, when you set your shield up, you include the intention that it be active only when you're wearing that item.

I've had good results from using a pendant.  For a while, I had to work periodically with someone with whom I just always butted heads.  She had some control issues, and didn't like giving up even an iota of control, even when she knew it would improve the project.  Very frustrating.  So I constructed a shield that was intended to repel her negativity, and I anchored it to a simple pendant I'd made from a shiny washer (from a hardware store) and some cord. 

It might have been effective because the fact of wearing the pendant helped keep me mindful of the shield.  Or it might have been effective simply because it was effective.  Either way, it worked.

I chose to use an item that I could dedicate to that specific purpose, rather than something like a piece of jewelry that I like to wear a lot.  You could easily do the same thing with a ring or pendant or earrings or hat or scarf or whatever.  For bonus points, you could use a piece of jewelry set with a kind of stone that would enhance the shielding.

~ Aster
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« Reply #34: June 22, 2011, 03:03:22 am »

Someone upthread already mentioned "anchoring" your shield to a piece of jewelry or an item of clothing, so I'll just reiterate that.  Basically, when you set your shield up, you include the intention that it be active only when you're wearing that item.

Thanks, I must have missed that.
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« Reply #35: June 22, 2011, 04:16:35 am »

For bonus points, you could use a piece of jewelry set with a kind of stone that would enhance the shielding.

I've heard (though I haven't had the opportunity to test the theory myself) that a reflective surface works best for that purpose. Perhaps that's behind the reputation of hematite as a good shielding stone.
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« Reply #36: June 22, 2011, 08:22:36 am »

Someone upthread already mentioned "anchoring" your shield to a piece of jewelry or an item of clothing, so I'll just reiterate that.  Basically, when you set your shield up, you include the intention that it be active only when you're wearing that item.

I see a problem with that: after a time of doing it this way, some people might have problems creating a shield at all without the item. I've seen it happen, unfortunately.
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« Reply #37: June 22, 2011, 09:52:55 am »

So should I simply practice more often and then I might be able to keep it going for longer periods of time?

Well, everyone is different. Some things that come easily to one person, might be more difficult for another. I'd say the more you practice, the easier it gets. I also agree with both Aster and Randall. Tools are great, I use a lot of them. But, I would also encourage you to learn how to do things without them. 

You could take a middle of the road approach. You could start with, say, a stone or piece of jewelry intended to strengthen your focus and concentration overall. You could also practice at home with distractions like the television or radio, but without using a focusing tool for help.

IMO, the best thing to do is experiment and find out what works best for you.
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« Reply #38: June 22, 2011, 09:54:23 am »

I see a problem with that: after a time of doing it this way, some people might have problems creating a shield at all without the item. I've seen it happen, unfortunately.

Maybe regular practice without the piece of jewelry would help avoid this, i.e. at a quiet time and place where your full attention could be given to the task. After regular practice it might not be necessary to have the jewelry to hold the shield.

OTOH, harzgeist was talking more about using some kind of talisman to help hold the shield, not cast it. The impression I got was that the spellworker would cast the shield and strengthen it in another time and place, then anchor it to the jewelry so it wouldn't be necessary to do so when she/he is sitting at the bus stop or wherever. So how would the item impede their ability to create one?
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« Reply #39: June 22, 2011, 12:52:36 pm »

So how would the item impede their ability to create one?

The primary problem with anchoring to a piece of jewelry is what happens if that jewelry is not available? (You lose it, it's inappropriate to wear with what you need - for example, you're at a job interview, going to a wedding, whatever.)

And you have to be comfortable wearing a piece of jewelry constantly: many people are, but for some people, remembering to put it on is a challenge, and some people find the constant pressure on their skin distracting or uncomfortable. (and some people's skin reacts to different metals, so finding something that's good for everyday wear can take trial and error.)

There are certainly some ways to solve all of those problems, but they're still things that make a difference in what you do and how you do it.
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« Reply #40: June 22, 2011, 01:07:27 pm »

The primary problem with anchoring to a piece of jewelry is what happens if that jewelry is not available? (You lose it, it's inappropriate to wear with what you need - for example, you're at a job interview, going to a wedding, whatever.)

And you have to be comfortable wearing a piece of jewelry constantly: many people are, but for some people, remembering to put it on is a challenge, and some people find the constant pressure on their skin distracting or uncomfortable. (and some people's skin reacts to different metals, so finding something that's good for everyday wear can take trial and error.)

There are certainly some ways to solve all of those problems, but they're still things that make a difference in what you do and how you do it.

What about a tattoo?
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« Reply #41: June 22, 2011, 01:37:53 pm »

The primary problem with anchoring to a piece of jewelry is what happens if that jewelry is not available? (You lose it, it's inappropriate to wear with what you need - for example, you're at a job interview, going to a wedding, whatever.)

And you have to be comfortable wearing a piece of jewelry constantly: many people are, but for some people, remembering to put it on is a challenge, and some people find the constant pressure on their skin distracting or uncomfortable. (and some people's skin reacts to different metals, so finding something that's good for everyday wear can take trial and error.)

There are certainly some ways to solve all of those problems, but they're still things that make a difference in what you do and how you do it.

My impression of the idea, though, is that the jewelry wouldn't be worn constantly but only when appropriate or necessary (like when waiting at the hypothetical bus stop). It wouldn't have to be worn constantly, only when the wearer wanted to be shielded without having the convenience of a quiet place to concentrate on creating one. And she/he could create another anchor if it was lost.

I guess in the hypotheticals we're talking about, I don't see it being used constantly enough to make dependency on it a danger. Though of course it would depend on the wearer too .
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« Reply #42: June 22, 2011, 01:43:07 pm »

What about a tattoo?

That goes the other direction - are you always going to want to have a long-term magical thing tied to it? Is a particular design going to work for any long-term magical stuff you want to do? (And, of course, are you comfortable getting a tattoo, able to do so, not in a profession where a tattoo or a given design might be problematic, etc.)

Like I said, it's not that there aren't solutions - just that it's a little more complicated than "Always wear jewelry".

My own take works like this:
1) I put in the time and effort to learn how to develop, sustain, and manage my shielding without needing additional tools most of the time. This is the most flexible option long term, and I think it's well worth the effort.

This does take time - but I got a core system that worked for me in place at a time I very much needed it for filtering, more than for protection in a relatively short span of time. I figured out something that mostly worked for me within a week (with multiple pauses a day to reinforce it and adjust), over the next couple of months made some refinements (so it was 'check in every day' not every few hours I was awake), and then got a lot more refined once I did my Dedicant training, which gave me a lot more tools for sustained work.

(There are also a bunch more widely available resources out there than there were when I started, that I think would make it noticeably faster.)

These days, I only check in with my shields deliberately if I'm in an usual situation, feel off, or as a basic "it's good to review every few months." Most of the time, they run in the background with very minimal attention, even when I'm adjusting from "public space, don't bug me." (reducing attention, being less obvious/interesting) to "hi, I'd like you to hire me." (where I want to be open, authentic, engaging, and noticeable.)

(I do a bunch of daily things that help with this - but most of those are background tasks, now. Simple bits of daily practice, music and reading and hobby choices, having built energetic cleansing into how I have a bath.)

2) I'll use a piece of jewelry for something short term where I either want a particular focus, or a reminder.

For example, I often use a piece of jewelry to anchor short-term ritual commitments or practices (elemental attunement work where I work closely with a particular element for several months, a short-term magical working of ongoing duration, etc.)

If I'm doing this, I pick something that I could adapt if an unusual situation came up - for example, for something I'm going to wear for a couple of months, my preference is an anklet (usually made of embroidery floss with an attached small stone pendant) - it works really well for me, and means I can wear a necklace as well for other purposes. (And I don't need to worry about getting it wet, or about a lot of metal reaction.)  

But there are times (job interviews, formal events for example) when having one on would not be appropriate. So I build mine with a lobster clasp, and may tuck it into my bra (looped around a strap) or a pocket, or in my purse, if I can't actually wear it for a period of time.

I also pick the jewelry I wear on a given day for some of its energy and 'programming' - some stuff is about confidence, some about openness and approachability, some about balance. But which piece I wear varies day to day. (And I often pick the jewelry I want, if I'm going to wear something, and *then* figure out which clothes to wear.)

I use scent and perfume in a similar way: picking a focus day by day.

3) I'll also sometimes use a piece of jewelry to help me build a mindset - again, this is not so much a "wear all the time", but a "put on and be mindful."

When I'm working on setting up that mindset, I might wear it a lot, but then I might swap it out, and simply leave it hanging somewhere.

For example, I commissioned a piece of jewelry to help with my job hunt. It has a whole bunch of specifically chosen stones in there. I wore it a lot when I first got it, but most of the time it now lives hung on the shelves by my bed (within arm's reach of where I do most of my computing, though not in line of sight.)

But right now, I unhooked it from the shelf, because I'm about to go dive into working on a presentation for an interview.
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« Reply #43: June 22, 2011, 01:46:17 pm »

My impression of the idea, though, is that the jewelry wouldn't be worn constantly but only when appropriate or necessary (like when waiting at the hypothetical bus stop). It wouldn't have to be worn constantly, only when the wearer wanted to be shielded without having the convenience of a quiet place to concentrate on creating one. And she/he could create another anchor if it was lost.

And see, I'd find that even more frustrating - having to remember to take out/put on something, take it off again, etc. (Especially something as small as jewelry which can slip into odd places in a bag.)

Quote
I guess in the hypotheticals we're talking about, I don't see it being used constantly enough to make dependency on it a danger. Though of course it would depend on the wearer too .

Like I said, it's not that jewelry won't work. Just that - like most possible solutions to things - it's important to look at what limits it might bring, or what practical issues are involved.

In terms of dependency: I certainly know people who've slipped into dependency on a tool without noticing it. But even in people who haven't, discovering that something's missing can put a real shock in your day, and for someone who's already trying ot keep afloat in challenging times, it can be particularly challenging to navigate. It's not that there's long term damage, but short term stress isn't exactly a ton of fun.

(Hence, I prefer solutions that mean I don't need to worry about that as much.)
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« Reply #44: June 22, 2011, 04:01:46 pm »

And see, I'd find that even more frustrating - having to remember to take out/put on something, take it off again, etc. (Especially something as small as jewelry which can slip into odd places in a bag.)

Like I said, it's not that jewelry won't work. Just that - like most possible solutions to things - it's important to look at what limits it might bring, or what practical issues are involved.

In terms of dependency: I certainly know people who've slipped into dependency on a tool without noticing it. But even in people who haven't, discovering that something's missing can put a real shock in your day, and for someone who's already trying ot keep afloat in challenging times, it can be particularly challenging to navigate. It's not that there's long term damage, but short term stress isn't exactly a ton of fun.

(Hence, I prefer solutions that mean I don't need to worry about that as much.)

I can understand that. I guess you'd have to decide individually if the potential limitations outweigh the potential benefits.
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